Repair or buy another car


#1

Hi, I have a 99 ford contour with 115,000 miles on it. I took it to the shop for an oil change and I told them to check and see if anything else was wrong with the car.

This is the verdict: (Parts Labor Total

Sway bark link/kit 45.40 90.00

4 wheel alignment 49.00 49.00

Install stabilizer link, ea 19.99 39.99

lower ball joint 171.33 171.33

lower ball joint 150.22 150.22

Mono mastic plus tm strut 74.99 149.98

Monroe Strut mate Bring Plate 60.99 121.98

front springs 164.03 164.03

Total Cost $1,120.31



Should I get it fix or start looking for a another car.

All advice is greatly appreciated


#2

I would get a second opinion to see if all this work is necessary. If this work is needed, then look carefully at your car. If it isn’t rusted underneath and fits your needs, $1120 is not a terribly high repair bill these days. You probably can’t get another car at this price. Also, 115,000 miles is not really high miles, even for a Ford contour. If the car fills your needs and is in good shape otherwise, I would probably go ahead with the repairs.


#3

I would get a second opinion to verify that the repairs are needed, then I would repair the car rather than trade it off. The need for new springs sounds a little suspicious to me…


#4

Given the question you gave the mechanic with the service order, your list of items is not surprising.

Most of these items relate to suspension and steering. They are all stuff that moves up and down any time the car takes a bump and over 115K miles you’ve gone over a lot of bumps. This is pretty normal wear and tear stuff.

I would get a second opinion just to make sure the bill is not being padded with non essential stuff. If this is too much for one month’s budget you could perform these repairs in stages and spread them out over say 6 months.

You’ve had the car 10 years and put only 11K miles on it per year. The car is not going to fall apart instantly. If the body is good, motor good, transmission good, and you’d want to keep the car another 5 years or more than get the work done as you can afford it.

If these items are really bad then the ride, handling, and safety of your car has been slipping over the years. These fixes will restore much of the original handling characteristics of the car. If needed, and all done at once you’d notice a significant improvement in the way the car rides and how secure it feels on the road.